Cover Art for A Time and a Place by Jeff Minkevics
Mahoney’s work is great for those who like their speculative fiction thoughtful, eloquent, and messy.
Barnabus’s nephew is behaving oddly.
Calling upon Doctor Humphrey for assistance has not been particularly helpful, because the good doctor’s diagnosis of demonic possession is clearly preposterous. Even the demon currently ensconced on the front room couch agrees it’s preposterous. But then, how else to explain the portal to another world through which his nephew and Humphrey have just now disappeared? Barnabus knows their only chance of rescue is for Barnabus J. Wildebear himself to step up and go through that portal.
Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus’ assumptions about causality, freewill, identity, good and evil. Can Barnabus save his nephew—and incidentally, all of humanity?
A Time and a Place published by Five Rivers Press.
“This book packs a surprising emotional punch.”
Jenny Dee, Amazon.com
“How often does one get to read a book involving time travel and aliens, set in Prince Edward Island? It’s a riotous read and thoroughly enjoyable.”
Timothy Neesam, Goodreads
“I greatly enjoyed the chapters in which our time and dimension travelling hero finds himself in the body of an alien, purple-furred cat with opposable thumbs and then a seagull.”
Nancy Kay Clark, Goodreads
“Dr. Who on Acid”
Bonnie Keck, Goodreads
“Joe Mahoney’s A Time and A Place is a meditation on deep philosophical questions disguised as a rollicking science fiction adventure.”
Frank Faulk, Amazon.ca
“…the author has a decided knack for humorous word play which brings some levity to otherwise serious situations.”
David A. Kilman, Amazon.com
“A great book… I really am a big fan of Time Travel written and done well.”
Neil A. Sinclair, Amazon.com
So. I must confess that I am fairly conflicted about Joe Mahoney’s ‘A Time and a Place’. On the one hand Mahoney relates a pretty rollicking Fantasy-Science Fiction adventure story with a lively, imaginative degree of world building while on the other he saddles that world with one of the least likeable protagonists I’ve read around in some time. Barnabus J. Wildebear is a strange character, at times willfully ignorant of the world around him, ill suited to the task at hand, yet still trying to act as if his opinions about almost any of the circumstances he is caught up in are remotely valid. His great redeeming character attribute is his phlegmatic nature, able to cope with how weird things are around him with a virtual shrug of his shoulders.
Mahoney clearly has a peculiar sense of humour and with that being expressed in unusual places it is no mean feat that he manages the razors edge of his narrative between the chasm of outright parody on the one hand and a descent into old fashioned pulp fiction on the other. There is a veritable smorgasbord of funky ideas at play in the novel and passages of sneaky thoughtfulness cheek by jowl with subversive goofiness. With wry, tongue in cheek similes and metaphors at his disposal, Mahoney seems to be both winking at the tropes of the genres he is engaged in while encouraging us as readers to give them another look with a fresh set of eyes.
Granted, while Wildebear really bugged the hell out of me as a character Mahoney also deserves credit for taking a passel of relatively archetypical supporting characters and either spinning them off in unexpected ways or giving them much more nuance and depth than expected. Definitely a good read bursting with genre inventiveness and exuberance and (for me) a protagonist who really needed a good smack upside the head!
A Time and a Place, published by Five Rivers Publishing, is currently in Pre-Release, meaning that it’s available directly from the publisher. It’s possible to pre-order it from all major booksellers online such as Kobo, Amazon, Chapters, Barnes & Noble, and so on, in both trade paperback and electronic editions. It will go into wide release October. The official book launch will take place Oct 26th at the Merril Collection in the Toronto Pubic Library.
I stumbled upon a nice post on novel writing just now by Canadian author D.G. (David) Laderoute. I like his advice on how to write a novel:
…put a bunch of words onto paper, so they form a complete story that other people will want to invest their time and energy in reading.
That’s pretty much it.
Sure, one could go into all the mechanics but what’s the point. Most people will never get past putting the bunch of words onto paper. If they do get to that point, and invest enough time into it, and have enough natural ability, they’ll figure out the mechanics themselves.
I suppose I didn’t actually just stumble upon David’s post. First I stumbled across mention of his forthcoming novel by Five Rivers Publishing called “Out of Time.” I love the title–it’s one of those great dual meaning titles. (I would say double entendre but there’s nothing salacious about this novel.) It’s, as Dave puts it:
Author David Lederoute
…a Young Adult Fantasy, the story of two boys–Riley, who lives in present day Canada on the shore of Lake Superior, and Peetwonikwot or “Gathering Cloud”, an Aboriginal boy from the same region but hundreds of years earlier, in pre-European contact times. These two meet across the gulf of time separating them and, together, confront a powerful evil that threatens both their worlds.
I’m a big fan of books featuring time travel.
I also love this book’s cover art, pictured above, by artist Jeff Minkevics. It’s a unique style, with great use of colour. To paraphrase what David Lederoute himself has written about the cover art, it captures what the story is about without giving anything anyway, and does so in an intriguing fashion.
Artist Jeff Minkevics
I haven’t read the book yet. It hasn’t even been released yet. Five Rivers is publishing it November 1st. I plan to pick up a copy. Just based on the title, the cover, and the engaging nature of David’s informal writing that I see on his blog.